Thursday, February 27, 2014

Emmanuel Mensah, the Liberian Born Star of “When Dreams Fall Apart”

Emmanuel V. Mensah is the stuff Hollywood hunks are made of with his charming good looks and designer suits. The Liberian born international actor is also a successful entrepreneur who is based in the United States of America and has also found a comfort zone in Nollywood. And one of the leading stars in “When Dreams Fall Apart”, the must see new thriller by Chico Ejiro, the most prolific filmmaker in Nollywood. Emmanuel plays the challenging role of Barrister Williams, a very intelligent, handsome and good hearted lawyer hired by Kelvin (Vincent Opurum) for his girlfriend "Nonye", (Uche Jombo) who had been arrested and accused of murder.

 Working with the award winning Nollywood diva Uche Jombo
“I recall my first encounter with her on the set of "When Dreams Fall Apart" I can't quit saying I expected a different behavior or attitude since I've heard from other actors and crew members of her down to earth mannerisms. I didn't have to wait long when she exhibited her sweet nature to me during our scene together. It was hot and I was sweating up a storm and she selflessly took her portable fan and shared it with me so that we could go forward with the production,” Emmanuel said with glints in his starry eyes.
“What I found fascinating about her was her down to earth interactions with the crew and actors, including my humble self. Work wise, she is a walking talent and her ability to bring her character alive is remarkable. Since then, I've had the opportunity to work with her again and it was just as fun.”

Working with Chico Ejiro
 “Working with Producer/Director Chico Ejiro was a very wonderful experience. Chico maintains a very relaxed environment for both crew and actors alike, which enables every member regardless of your position on set to excel; and you are able to work effectively. Despite your reading and understanding of the script, Chico directs you in a way that allows you to visualize the character vividly, which makes it easy for one to embody and portray the best for the viewers. I once read somewhere that a person thinks, reacts, and responds effectively when the heartbeat is functioning at a normal rhythm; as opposed to a fast and out of norm rhythm which causes lack of focus and slow responses. I have worked with a lot of directors over the years and I've come to realize that Chico style of directing or instructing is more subtle and productive. It allows you as a artist to bring out the best in you. Once again, working under the instructions of Director Chico Ejiro was a well learned experience and I look forward to working with him again.”

Emmanuel has an impressive resume from being educated in the US with a Masters in Social Science from Ashford and that really helped as the CEO of Mensah Delivery Service out of Leesburg in Virginia and currently the CEO of Kanneh-Mensah International Nigeria Limited with head office in Abuja. His acting career started in the United States and Canada in 2009, where he first appeared in the movie "Games of the Heart" and "Missing Link". Since then he has featured in other international productions from around the world, including in Sierra Leon, the Congo, Ghana, Canada and a popular face in Nigerian movies working with the famous Nollywood stars; Patience Ozokwor, Olu Jacobs, Desmon Elliott, Ramsey Noah, Jim Ike and others and with Ghanaian stars Kofi Ajololo, Juliet Ibrahim and Nadia Buari. If you do not find Emmanuel V. Mensah in front of the cameras, you can find him in the hustle and bustle of Abuja business world.

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Journalism is Not Terrorism: Free AJ Staff Now!


• Global Day of Action called in support of journalists detained in Egypt

• Stands of solidarity, vigils and events planned in 30 cities across the world

Events supporting Al Jazeera’s detained journalists in Egypt are planned in over 30 countries for this Thursday, 27 February 2014.

Al Jazeera hopes that, through the attention of the world’s media and partners, pressure can be brought to bear on the Egyptian authorities to hasten the release of Peter Greste, Mohammed Fahmy, Baher Mohamed and Abdullah El Shamy.

Al Jazeera English's Mohamed, Fahmy and Greste have been detained since 29 December 2013. Al Jazeera Arabic’s El Shamy has been detained without charge since 14 August 2013 and has been on hunger strike in protest since 23 January 2014.

“We truly appreciate the solidarity from everybody right around the world," says Dr. Mostefa Souag, general director of Al Jazeera Media Network. "The pressure, support and calls for our colleagues to be released have continued to keep the story in the news. The Global Day of Action is about the freedom of the press; it is about objective reporting and ensuring journalists cannot be gagged or silenced. We ask everyone to contribute to the Global Day of Action on Thursday. Journalism is not a crime.”

The hashtag #FreeAJStaff has gone viral worldwide, with quarter of a billion impressions on Twitter alone since 1 February 2014. The campaign has already had an outpouring of popular and political support worldwide, with institutions including the White House, European Union and the United Nations calling for the release of the journalists and for press freedoms to be upheld.

The campaign looks set to ramp up further with public events taking place in Nairobi, Sydney, Manila, Islamabad, Doha, Amman, Ankara, Berlin, London, Rio, Montreal, Washington DC and San Francisco on Thursday. Every continent of the world will see action.

Al Jazeera is urging people from all backgrounds to join in by supporting the rallies and amplifying the social media campaign using the hashtag #FreeAJstaff.

To build on the online #FreeAJstaff campaign, Al Jazeera will be using Thunderclap, which will allow people to pledge a Tweet, Facebook post, or Tumblr post containing the same message that’s unleashed, all at the same time, throughout the world.

For more information on the Global Day of Action, visit

For more details on Thunderclap:

1. Visit and click on a red “Support with” button for Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr.

2. Click “Add My Support”

3. You’ll be prompted to authorize your account so Thunderclap can post a message for you; agree.

4. Spread the word and get other people to do it.

What happens: At 14:00 GMT on Thursday, 27 February 2014, Thunderclap will post simultaneously to the hundreds of Twitter and Facebook accounts supporting the campaign in a truly global action.

For interviews, please email

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Uche Jombo is Full of Fun – Vincent Nnamdi Opurum

Uche Jombo is Full of Fun – Vincent Nnamdi Opurum

Vincent Opurum is one of the fastest rising Nollywood stars and known for his outstanding lead roles in ”Shameless Romance”, “Helpless Kingdom|” and “Never Love a Prince” And his lead role as Kelvin in Chico Ejiro’s new award winning thriller "When Dreams Fall Apart" gave him an unforgettable time acting alongside famous Nollywood diva Uche Jombo.

“She is endowed of a lady to work with at all times. I learned a whole lot working with her and at the same time full of fun,” he said. Nnamdi Opurum fondly called ”Sexy Vincent” is also a model who is always in demand for his attractive physique and unique face.

“When Dreams Fall Apart” also stars popular U.S based actor Emmanuel Mensah, Maureen Okpoko and Nonso Odogwu.

When dreams fall apart is a story about a girl on the run, to save her life. When her uncle whom she's living with died, the death was framed on her so she ran away to stay with a group of friends who are into big time runs. One night they set out to hustle and she meets a rich expatriate guy who pays to sleep with her. In the process of their love making the guy had a heart attack and died instantly. The girl takes off again, a fugitive running from the law. She gets knocked down by a moving car and she's rushed to a nearby hospital. The rich young man who hit her falls in love with her and her romance kicks off against the will of the guy's parents who have a rich and influential background. They begin to dig into the girls past and expose her dirty secrets but the guy is blinded by love still goes ahead with the wedding plans On the wedding day as they were about to be joined as husband and wife, we see a band of policemen who surrounds the venue and arrest the bride to be. When dreams fall apart is an intriguing story of love, betrayal, murder and pain.

 "When Dreams Fall Apart" opens at the cinemas in Nigeria and Ghana from March 14. 2014

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Is President Goodluck Jonathan Still the Most Criticized President in the World?

I don’t know who lied to President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria that he was the most criticized or hated President in the world? And I don’t know why he accepted that lie without any public opinion poll?
Being criticized does not translate into being hated.
His aides and publicists must have used that fabrication as a ploy to increase their budget for his public relations and I am afraid they got away with it smiling to the bank.

Yes, President Jonathan has made mistakes and he has his imperfections. But name anyone who has not made mistakes and without imperfections?

The liars who told him that he is the most hated leader in the world only jumped to that erroneous conclusion during the nationwide protests following the removal of fuel subsidy on January 1, 2012. It was one of the worst New Year presents Nigerians have received. But on December 13, 2011, the announcement of the 2012 fiscal year's budget removed any provisions for the existing fuel subsidy even though opinion polls showed that 80% of Nigerians opposed the plan to remove the fuel subsidy. So, when on January 1, 2012, President Goodluck Jonathan announced the end of fuel subsidies, the masses trooped to the streets in the popular “OCCUPY NIGERIA” protests and with some violent riots claiming some innocent lives in different parts of the country. But if the masses hated him for the hardship caused by the removal of the fuel subsidy, their hatred was not enough to make him the most hated leader in the world when he is not even the most hated in the history of Nigeria or Africa.

“I think I am the most criticized President in the whole world, but I want to tell this audience that before I leave I will be the most praised President,” he said at the opening of the 52nd Annual General of the Nigerian Bar Association at the International Conference Centre in Abuja.
~ The Punch of Nigeria, August 28, 2012.

I have been one of the critics of President Jonathan, but mostly harmless criticisms meant to bring out the best in him and not the worst.
The fact is, your worst critics may mean well than your best sycophants. And from the brouhaha of political defections of many party stalwarts from the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) of President Jonathan to the main opposition party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), he now knows the bitter truth. That his best buddies and supporters are not his bread and butter sycophants who are mostly political contractors and jobbers who are only paying him lip service and doing eye service just for their own selfish interests and not for patriotic reasons.

The advantage of President Goodluck Jonathan in his bid to secure a second term in office is not even the power of incumbency as most political pundits assume, but his popularity among the majority of Nigerians who prefer him to his political opponents in the APC, because the opposition is yet to present a more popular presidential candidate. And until the opposition can show Nigerians that they have a better presidential aspirant, President Goodluck Jonathan can continue with his transformation agenda for the nation building of a New Nigeria.

~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima, February 19, 2014.

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Afrinolly Awards - Lions Rising On Saturday February 22, 2014

On 22nd February, 2014 Afrinolly Awards holds.
We will celebrating the Generation of Digital Film Makers in Africa; awarding winners in the Afrinolly Short Film Competition Season 2 and recognizing some individuals.

Follow the highlights and join the conversation on Google+, Twitter and Facebook using the hash tag #AfrinollyAwards

Lions Rising is a reminder to all that there is an emerging new generation of digital filmmakers across Africa. 
Like Lions they will dominate the Africa movie ecosystem. 
Lions Rising signifies that the future is here. 
Like Lions they are spread across different parts of Africa. This is not just Nollywood. 
Like Lions they move in groups and collaborate in more ways than others. 
This is an era of specialization and division of labor. 
Like Lions they know their strength. 
This is time for Africans to tell the African story for a global audience.

~ Chike Maduegbuna, CEO, FansConnectOnline, makers of Afrinolly apps for African movies on mobile devices.  

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Femi Oke of Al Jazeera’s The Stream in Town for SocialMediaWeek Lagos Day

Our own proudly Nigerian Femi Oke of Al Jazeera’s award-winning social media show The Stream is in town for the 2014 SocialMediaWeek Lagos.
Meet her now on Victoria Island, Lagos.

Africans In The Stream Keynote With Femi Oke
Venue: #SMWhq @ Volkswagen 179 Akin Adesola Street Victoria Island, Lagos
Time: 12:00PM-1:00PM
Twitter Conversation Hash Tag: #smwAJStream
Hosted By: Al Jazeera

Femi discusses why Al Jazeera’s award-winning social media show The Stream is such a great format for connecting Africans in debate.
Featuring some of the most dramatic moments, contentious and passionate The Stream clips from all over the continent as well as some behind-the-scenes revelations about how the show is put together, ending with an impromptu Stream debate live on stage. If you’re in the audience for Femi’s keynote you could be in the SMW Lagos edition of The Stream.
The Stream is a phenomenon begun by Al Jazeera – a web community with its own daily TV show. This award-winning programme taps into the extraordinary potential of individuals, through social networks, to disseminate news and information. The viral nature of social media allows for news and information to spread and advance rapidly. While these developments have the potential to generate more heat than light, to a broadcaster like Al Jazeera they are also an opportunity to reach news and voices in places and levels previously impossible – expanding and enhancing Al Jazeera’s mission of giving voice to the voiceless.

Later in the evening from 8:00pm - 9:15pm, She will host a Tuesday special edition of Al Jazeera Presents: The Stream live screening and tweet-in with Femi Oke... #SMWexperience Hub @ Four Points Got opinions? Like to Tweet? Join Al Jazeera live on the Tuesday edition of The Stream with host Femi Oke. We’ll bring the snacks, you bring something to tweet on.

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Saturday, February 15, 2014

Like Naija NewsTrack on Facebook

The new free for all Naija NewsTrack on Facebook is for tracking news and information in Nigeria and in the world about Nigeria and Nigerians.

Just launched hours ago, Naija NewsTrack already has the most comprehensive news updates on Nigeria from local and international news media channels tracking news on Nigeria on the internet.
Check it out!

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Friday, February 14, 2014

Oby Ezekwesili Named Among Top 5 Igbo Leaders Who Can Become President of Nigeria

Oby Ezekwesili Named Among Top 5 Igbo Leaders Who Can Become President of Nigeria

Ms. Obiageli Katryn Ezekwesili,
Vice President of the World Bank's Africa Division and former Federal Minister of Solid Minerals and Federal Minister of Education during the second term presidency of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and co-founder of Transparency International, one of the pioneer Directors of the global anti-corruption body based in Berlin, Germany is among the top five Igbo leaders recognized as having the outstanding presidential qualities for the future leadership of Africa's most populous nation.
"This African amazon is an anti corruption crusader and a proven administrator who can become a great female President of Nigeria and transform Nigeria into the China of Africa with due process, " noted the author.
Source: Transform Nigeria Network.

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Uche Jombo is Hot And Sexy in "When Dreams Fall Apart"

Uche Jombo is the dynamite that explodes in Nollywood movies. 

She leaves a long lasting impression on the viewer of her movies and I actually gave her excellent marks for her gripping "Damage" trilogy (damage,My life my damage, My country their damage) on the traumatic consequences of domestic violence in homes: a socioeconomic cause thats very personal to her. "My life, My Damage" deals with drugs and HIV; while "My Country, Their Damage" is on human trafficking and human labour.

 Uche Jombo is the star of prolific Nollywood filmmaker Chico Ejiro's latest movie "When Dreams Fall Apart' " which reminds me of many unforgettable circumstances in relationships.
The film has already won awards, including the Best Movie Award in Nigeria at the 2013 Abuja International Film Festival.

When dreams fall apart is a story about a girl on the run, to save her life. When her uncle whom she's living with died, the death was framed on her so she ran away to stay with a group of friends who are into big time runs. One night they set out to hustle and she meets a rich expatriate guy who pays to sleep with her. In the process of their love making the guy had a heart attack and died instantly. The girl takes off again, a fugitive running from the law. She gets knocked down by a moving car and she's rushed to a nearby hospital. The rich young man who hit her falls in love with her and her romance kicks off against the will of the guy's parents who have a rich and influential background. They begin to dig into the girls past and expose her dirty secrets but the guy is blinded by love still goes ahead with the wedding plans

On the wedding day as they were about to be joined as husband and wife, we see a band of policemen who surrounds the venue and arrest the bride to be. When dreams fall apart is an intriguing story of love, betrayal, murder and pain.


Producer/Director: CHICO EJIRO

 When Dreams Fall Apart opens at the cinemas in Nigeria and Ghana from March 14. 2014.

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Task Before Eze Duruiheoma, New Chairman of National Population Commission

Eze Duruiheoma, the new Chairman of the National Population Commission, NPC.

The Task Before Duruiheoma

~ By  Ingram   Osigwe

When service to fatherland beckons and tough task has to be handled, men with patriotic fervor do not shy away; they stand to be counted. This tells why Generals only retire but never tired because they spring to action and are called to defend their fatherland when threatened with conquest by enemies. Eze Duruiheoma, the new Chairman of the National Population Commission, NPC fits this characterisation.

Duruiheoma has paid his dues in the bar and has also served his fatherland in other capacities. But the Imo State born Legal luminary is now saddled with a different kind of service to Nigeria; the very challenging task of heading the Nigerian Population Commission (NPC).

Last December when President Goodluck Jonathan named him Nigeria’s Chief population enumerator and was immediately confirmed by the Senate, Duruiheoma was not under the illusion that his new job was a picnic. And as he formally takes charge of the NPC, Eze Duruiheoma is also not unmindful of the huge expectations of Nigerians on him. His appointment as the NPC boss is in tandem with President Jonathan’s desire to embark upon the issuance of National Identity Card to all Nigerians.

Therefore, the new NPC Chairman is aware of the huge, challenging job ahead of him. He does not need to be reminded that the task of conducting acceptable country-wide population census in a diverse and politically charged country like Nigeria is a no mean one. President Jonathan also has the presence of mind to recognize this hence he went for one of the nation’s best brains and a team player as NPC boss. Duruiheoma is aware that credible census figure is key to peace and stability in an emerging economy and multi-ethnic society like Nigeria. A population and housing census is the total process of collecting, compiling, analysis and publishing and disseminating data on demographic, economic and social conditions of the people as well as the conditions under which they live at specific period of time. Census is the primary source of the basic benchmark statistics on the population and housing characteristics of the nation. It provides information on population size, age and sex composition, geographic distribution and housing characteristics and facilities bearing on the social aspect of the nation.
With Duruiheoma at the driver’s seat of the NPC, the fundamental purpose of census is expected to be his and his team’s guiding light. Essentially, another cardinal purpose of census is to provide the facts essential to government for policy-making, planning and administration. The characteristics of the population drive the decision making that facilitates the development of socio-economic policies that will enhance the welfare of the population.

The Duruiheoma -led NPC, no doubt will have it at the back of their minds that population census provides important data for the analysis and appraisal of the changing pattern of rural/urban movement and concentration, the development of urbanized area, geographical distribution of the population according to such variables as occupation and education, as well as the socio-economic characteristics of the population and the labour force. These variables also provide the basis of question of scientific interest that are of importance both to pure research and for solving practical problems of industrial and commercial growth and management.

As former Chairman of the Imo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Eze Duruiheoma has been a manager of men and resources, it is therefore expected that he would have no problem providing efficient leadership to the NPC. And as the man who would superintendent Nigeria’s next population census, he will be bringing this wealth of experience to bear in handling the exercise.

Obviously, the President was guided in his choice of Duruiheoma as the boss of a sensitive government agency like the NPC by the Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN’s) tenacity of purpose.

Duruiheoma is also a unifying factor. This could be gleaned from the way he was able to weld Imo PDP together after inheriting a severely fractured party in the state.

The new NPC boss’ taciturn nature does not in any way dwarf his doggedness. Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, during Senate’s screening of Duruiheoma and other members of the Commission, described the new NPC helmsman as a man of good character and a team player who is hugely knowledgeable. What it therefore means is that President Jonathan needed a man with tenacity of purpose and dogged spirit to drive a hydra-headed octopus organization like the NPC, the very character traits the man Duruiheoma replaced, Eze Festus Odimegwu possessed.  . And he found that in Duruiheoma. It is gratifying and to the credit of Mr. President that following the resignation of Odimegwu, one of Ndigbo’s nay Imo’s best, as the NPC Chairman, he (President Jonathan) found another bright Imo son worthy of replacing him. The huge expectations on Duruiheoma is why failure on his part is not an option.

As Nigerian’s Chief population enumerator, Duruiheoma is aware that the 2016 census must be got right because population size and characteristics aid in influencing the location of businesses and services that satisfy the need of the target population census, the 2016 census inclusive. It also constitutes the principal source of records for use as a sampling frame for household surveys during the years between census.

Senate President, David Mark probably thought this way when he advised Duruiheoma and his team to take their jobs serious because according to him, population is a very important issue. “We do not want inflated census figures and we do not want our population to be underestimated so you must live up to expectation”, Mark told the new NPC boss and his team. Eze Duruiheoma, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), hails from the same Orlu zone, of Imo State as his successor, Odimegwu.

Ingram  Osigwe  wrote  from  Umuopia – Akokwa  in Imo State.

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There is No Transformation Without Reformation

There is no transformation without reformation.
We have to reform the government before we can transform Nigeria.

Two terrible things plague Nigeria. Ignorance of the populace and the incompetence of the corrupt ruling class.
We must get rid of these terrible plagues to Transform Nigeria.

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Monday, February 10, 2014

Nollywood Star Stephanie Linus Saves 22 Women with VVF and Donates Surgical Equipment

Stephanie Linus’ Extended Hands Foundation Performs Repair Surgeries on 22 Women with VVF & Donates Surgical Equipment

It all started out as a passion to spread the word to as many people as possible on the dangers of Vesico Vaginal Fistula. Many years ago, as a student of the University of Calabar, Nollywood star actress Stephanie Linus heard about some young girls who had been forced into early marriage and were suffering the negative and embarrassing effects of VVF. The encounter lingered in her memory until she began to seek ways to raise awareness on the condition. She embarked on a journey of research and visits to several hospitals and VVF centers both within and outside Nigeria to interact with girls and women suffering from the condition and doctors who took care of them. She also partnered with NGOs in other African countries like Liberia and Sierra Leone.

These visits, interactions and research conducted over some years provided the blueprint for the script of her self-produced movie called ‘DRY’. Set to be released soon, DRY is a movie centered around two girls who found themselves in the same cultural trap full of ignorance and cruelty. But beyond the movie, raising awareness on VVF for Stephanie is a passion.
 “For some reason, I am deeply moved by young girls and women suffering from this condition and would continue to do everything I can to help as many of them as possible,” she said.

And so, for two weeks, Stephanie and her team from the Extended Hands Foundation (a charity organization founded by her) were in Ogoja, Cross River state, attending to the needs of 22 women living with VVF. The project was sponsored by SNEPCo/NNPC with the support of some dedicated doctors and nurses at the General Hospital, Ogoja, Cross River state. The team of doctors carried out repair surgeries on the 22 women and catered for them for 2 weeks, nursing them back to health.

Aside from the surgeries, the foundation also donated surgical equipment and electrical supplies which was presented to the hospital at an event attended by the Cross River State Commissioner for Social Welfare & Community Development, Cross River State Barrister Patricia Endeley and the Director Health, Population and Nutrition Office USAID Dr Nancy Lowenthal. Other people who were present include Dr Joseph Monehine , Dr Adamu of Engender Health and the Chief Surgeon Dr Sa’ad Idris.

Not only did Stephanie have very close interactions with the women who shared their devastating experiences, she watched the doctors perform the surgeries on some of the women and described her experience as “life changing”. Many of them had been living with the conditions for several years.

“There’s nothing like being in the theatre and seeing these doctors delicately restoring these women back to health and giving them another chance at living normal lives. The experience was life changing and I’m really glad I could be a part of this,” she said. For Stephanie and the Extended Hands Foundation, it’s not the end but the journey and awareness still continues. “In our own little way, let’s help spread the word against child marriage and VVF and ensure we live healthy lives,” she advises.

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